Coming soon to Twitter: Tweets you have to pay for

Coming soon to Twitter: Tweets you have to pay for

2021-02-25 23:00:00

Twitter thinks your tweets – or at least some of them – might be worth something. Bee a virtual event For investors, the company announced on Thursday that it plans to launch a pay-for-posts feature called Super Follows in which users can pay the people they follow for their best tweets.

With Super Follows, Twitter allows users to monetize content that they create exclusively for certain followers. Sample screenshots released by the company show that the payment arrangement can take several forms. For example, a follower could pay a video creator he follows on Twitter a few dollars a month to access that user's exclusive newsletter or see special tweets available only to Super Followers. They may also be able to join a particular group or access a badge showing their support for that creator.

The idea of ​​paying someone for their tweets may sound far-fetched, but a Twitter spokesperson told Recode the goal is to "rethink the incentives of our service." In essence, the premise seems to be that this pay-for-post feature will help build more specific communities around specific topics.

Another change is coming to Twitter: a group-like tool called Communities. We don't know much about this feature yet to come – Twitter says more information is coming later this year – but the idea appears to be a more private and controlled way for communities to congregate on Twitter out of the public eye.

"(I) t still can be difficult to find people who share your interests in targeted conversations, and connect directly with people who share your interests," a company spokesperson told Recode. "This year, we're making it easier for you to discover, participate in, and converse with communities that share your interests."

Twitter's new community feature was announced at a virtual investor event on Thursday.

None of Twitter's newly announced features are currently available, but the company says it will reveal more information in the coming months. Still, Thursday's announcement is a sign that Twitter wants to be more than an incredibly public online discussion space and that the company is leaning towards the smaller & # 39; micro-communities & # 39; that form organically on its platform.

After all, someone can jump on Twitter to see the latest global news, but someone is also on the site for following a certain group of users and influencers, whether they're posting about Tesla or Taylor Swift.

The arrival of Super Follows and communities is because Twitter has moved to mimic closed features available on other platforms. At the end of last year, Twitter launched 'Fleets', Snapchat-like stories that disappear and are only available to followers. The company is also expanding its new Spaces tool, small audio-based rooms that function just like the new Clubhouse app. And, following in the footsteps of services like Substack, Twitter earlier this year bought the email newsletter service Revue and is working to integrate subscription-based newsletters directly through their public Twitter accounts.

Twitter's recent moves also indicate that the site hopes to add more layers to its historic public platform. All signs indicate that by the end of 2021, a user with a particularly promising tweet will have a lot more control over the audience seeing it, from being able to pay people for that content to sharing the post in a more private community to even placing it in a short-lived fleet.

The transition to more closed-off content means that Twitter will also face more challenges, such as spreading disinformation and harmful (or even dangerous) content that can be fueled in private online spaces. (After Fleets debuted, some pointed out that the closed and ephemeral nature of the content could make it easier to spread misinformation.) Nor is it clear how adding more payment-based components will affect the famous free platform.

In the meantime, if you have a perfect message in mind, Thursday's announcement indicates it might be worth holding it a little longer. The reward could be more fruitful than just 'likes' and retweets.

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